Along the Mississippi River Through Wisconsin

Wisconsin has some of the most scenic river towns you’ll find along the Mississippi River. Prescott was built at the juncture of the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers. Wisconsin’s second oldest community, Prairie du Chien, was built near the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers. Alma and Fountain City stretch along a narrow plain at the base of tall bluffs. Old river towns like Trempealeau and Ferryville maintain strong ties to the river today. The biggest city, La Crosse, is a vibrant college town in a region of about 100,000 people, but most of the 41 communities below are small towns, some very small.

Along the way, you’ll find clusters of artists in the communities along Lake Pepin (Bay City to Pepin), craft beer in Potosi and La Crosse, and pizza farms at Stockholm and Cochrane. There are many places to enjoy the river, whether from riverside dining, hiking in the bottomland forests or up a bluff, or boating. Except for a stretch through La Crosse, the drive along Wisconsin’s Great River Road is along a scenic, two-lane highway, so take your time and take advantage of the many opportunities to get out and explore. Communities are listed from north to south.